Board of Trustees

The CEO is an ex officio Trustee of the Board together with a number of non-executive Trustees who bring a wide variety of skills and experience.

PositionNameDate of appointment / term extendedDate of resignation / Term expiredBusiness and pecuniary interests*Attendance at Board meetings 2023/24Attendance at Board meetings 2022/23Attendance at Board Meetings 2021/22
Chair of Trustees (Foundation)David Edwards03.10.2018 - term extended for 4 years from 03.10.2022n/a5/66/64/6
Executive TrusteeGary Chown01.11.2011n/aDirector: Leading Schools South West Ltd5/66/66/6
Foundation appointedNathalie Ingles12.12.2018 - term extended for 4 years from 21.09.2022n/aEmployee - Foot Anstey LLP; MacTavish3/66/62/2 Maternity Leave July 21-May 22
Member AppointedSean Mackney15.05.24n/aEmployee: Petroc College; Director: Petroc Energy Services Ltd; Chair: Northern Devon Future Strategies Board, SW Social Mobility Commission; Torridge Place Board1/1N/AN/A
Member AppointedMac Muzvimwe12.12.2018 - term extended for 2 years from 12.12.2022n/aDirector: Blueprint consulting; Director/ Employee: Arcadis; Trustee: Ubuntu Counselling Services3/65/65/6
Foundation appointedCaroline Thomas12.12.2018 - term extended for 4 years from 12.12.2022n/aProprietor: Caroline S Thomas Accountancy; Trustee - La Motte Charity 4/66/64/6
Resigned or term ended
TrusteeHugh Whittaker28.11.2011 12.07.20236/66/6
FoundationJoanna Hall-Tomkin02.02.202222.03.2023Employee -Taunton School1/43/4
LGB RepresentativeClare Luke12.12.201811.12.2022Employed: Exeter University Director: Class HR Ltd; Director: T-Cup Ltd1/26/6
Co-opted TrusteeTina Jafrate30.01.202129.01.2022Tina Jafrate & Associates Limited, Parish Councillor -Roborough Parish Council n/a1/2

* including governance roles in other educational establishments

Trustee Profiles

David Edwards

Chair of Board / Foundation Trustee

David’s background is in teaching. He began his career teaching visually impaired children for nine years and then moved into main stream primary schools. Promotion led to deputy headship and eventually 13 years as headteacher in two contrasting primary schools. David also offers 10 years’ experience as one of Her Majesty’s Inspectors – retired September 2017. David brings up to date expertise in special education inspection, the Ofsted framework and years of expertise as an inspector, working in primary and secondary schools. He will support Ventrus in offering the highest levels of rigour in monitoring pupil outcomes, leadership and management (including governance), teaching learning and assessment, safeguarding, behaviour and pupils’ well-being.

Gary Chown

Executive Trustee

Gary is one of the founding members of Ventrus (formerly The Primary Academies Trust). Gary is committed to Partnership working and prior to his current role he led the Devon Association of Primary Headteachers whilst also developing his own partnership of improving and successful schools. He has extensive school leadership experience and a strong, proven track record of school improvement. As an Executive Headteacher Gary has led five different schools through seven full inspections. At every one of those inspections the schools grading improved from its previous inspection grade. Ofsted have described Gary as an “exceptional Headteacher”. Gary has been commissioned on many occasions by the Local Authority to support and lead schools that are under-performing. Gary also has a great deal of multi-agency experience and his work as the strategic Lead for a cluster of children centres has been described as “inspirational” by the Chief Executive of Barnados. Gary has a passion for teacher training and development and he still finds time to act as a visiting lecturer on PGCE and BEd programmes for the University of Plymouth.

Nathalie Ingles

Foundation Trustee

Nathalie is a solicitor with Foot Anstey where she specialises in employment law. Nathalie acts for employers on a diverse range of contentious and non-contentious employment law matters, including day to day employee relations issues, employment tribunal litigation, complex reorganisation and change exercises, share incentive schemes and corporate support.

With a family background in teaching and having a young family herself, Nathalie has a strong interest in supporting and developing the education of children in Devon and helping to ensure equality of opportunity for all.

Caroline Thomas

Foundation Trustee

Caroline brings a wealth of financial experience to the Trust. Caroline was a partner in a local firm of Chartered Accountants, having been head of forensic accountancy in the local office for several years. As a Chartered Accountant and member of the Academy of Experts, she has provided forensic accountancy and expert witness services across the UK and Channel Islands for over 10 years.

Prior to developing her specialism in forensic work, Caroline was heavily involved in the audit of charities and charitable companies, overseeing the implementation of the Charities SORP 2000 for her clients. Since that time, she has retained an enthusiasm for the voluntary sector, undertaking gratuitous accountancy work for a handful of local charitable organisations.

Caroline is also a qualified commercial mediator and finds these skills invaluable in many aspects of life, including the workplace and within the setting of various committee meetings.

In order to accommodate her young family, Caroline now involves herself in a variety of accountancy based roles; including a consultancy in forensic accountancy, fund accounting, voluntary accountancy work and her self-employed Chartered Accountancy business comprising a small portfolio of hand-picked clients.

Caroline has a keen interest in children and education, partly as a result of having school aged children herself, but also in her role as a part-time peripatetic music teacher in local primary and secondary schools.

Mac Muzvimwe

Non-executive Trustee

Mac Muzvimwe is a chartered quantity surveyor and Building Information Modelling (BIM) practitioner with over 20 years’ experience in all aspects of construction cost and commercial management and strategic BIM consultancy. Key experience includes commercial management of construction and engineering capital projects for both public and private sector clients, including business case and funding applications. He also has over 7 years’ office/ business management, including line and team management, business planning, business development, recruitment, etc. and currently works for a global multi-disciplinary consultancy business as a key member of the South West business leadership team. Since 2005, he has volunteered as a STEM Ambassador working with various organisations to promote construction and engineering to schools, and offering work experience placements to secondary school children.

Sean Mackney

Non-executive Trustee